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November 07, 2007 - Castle Harlan's Australian Affiliate CHAMP Will Open Office in Singapore

NEW YORK, November 7, 2007 - Castle Harlan, Inc., the New York private equity investment firm, announced today that CHAMP Private Equity, the Australian firm in which Castle Harlan has a 50 percent interest, will open an office in Singapore.


CHAMP, based in Sydney, is currently investing its A$950 million CHAMP II Buyout Fund. It is the successor to the oldest private equity operator in Australia, dating back to 1987, which became affiliated with Castle Harlan in 2000.


Howard Morgan, a Castle Harlan senior managing director and a member of the CHAMP board of directors, said the Singapore office would "significantly enhance Castle Harlan's and CHAMP's Asian expansion strategies and provide greater opportunities to support the growth of our portfolio companies in that increasingly important region.


"It will also contribute to our ability to find and complete acquisitions over a wider area of Southeast Asia."


He noted that CHAMP will be the first Australian-based private equity firm to have an office on the Asian mainland.


Morgan said Nathaniel Childres, a CHAMP managing director, will head the investment team in the Singapore office, effective January 1, 2008. Childres has been with CHAMP since the firm was founded in 2000. He had previously worked in Southeast Asia during the 1990s as an attorney and investment advisor with White & Case, the international law firm.


A CHAMP Asia Advisory Board has been named to provide support for CHAMP's and Castle Harlan's activities. Its members are:


Koh Boon Hwee, Chairman, DBS Group, the largest Singaporian bank. He was formerly the chairman of Singapore Airlines and has been a member of the CHAMP Affiliates Advisory Board in Australia since 2000.

Ian Macfarlane, former governor, Reserve Bank of Australia;

Ian Buchanan, former Asia Pacific chairman of Booz Allen Hamilton;

Bill Ferris, chairman, CHAMP Private Equity.

CHAMP Private Equity was formed in 2000 as Castle Harlan Australian Mezzanine Partners by the founders of CHAMP Private Equity's predecessor and Castle Harlan. CHAMP Private Equity and its predecessor have made more than 60 investments since 1987 in companies operating in Australia and New Zealand.


The combined worldwide funds under the management of CHAMP Private Equity and Castle Harlan exceed A$5 billon. CHAMP Private Equity and its predecessor funds have recorded an annual return on funds invested of approximately 30 percent since 1987. CHAMP Funds have acquired and successfully exited from investments across a variety of sectors, in companies such as Austar United Communications, Bradken Limited and Penrice Limited.


Current CHAMP portfolio companies include: International Energy Services, Manassen Foods, Healthcare Australia, Study Group International, United Malt Holdings and Blue Star Print Group Limited.


Castle Harlan, founded in 1987, invests in controlling interests in the buyout and development of middle-market companies in North America, Europe and, together with CHAMP, in Australasia. Its team of 19 investment professionals in New York has completed 48 acquisitions since its inception with a total value in excess of $9 billion.


Castle Harlan's current portfolio companies, which employ more than 42,000 people, include Ames True Temper, a leading manufacturer of lawn and garden tools and accessories; Baker & Taylor, the leading global distributor of books and entertainment products to libraries and retailers, and Perkins & Marie Callender's, Inc., which operates and franchises 618 family restaurants in the U.S. and Canada.